Stillness. Quiet. Rest. Peace.

Just writing those words, and then pausing to take a breath, starts to slow my system down. As I read those words over and over again, I get even quieter inside. And that quiet washes over me like a sweet balm or a healing salve after such a full and intense year.

As 2019 draws to a close, I’ve been contemplating all that has been this year. The personal and the global mingle together. I cannot separate one from the other. There is the personal journey that I have walked out in the world through seven countries on four continents, and the parallel inner journey that I have walked through the heart of my being. And then there are all of the things happening in my country, the 35 countries represented in our extended Transformational Presence community, and the world at large.

I am filled with gratitude, love, appreciation, and concern. Gratitude, love, and appreciation for the life I am privileged to live, and for the people that I get to be with, to serve, and to learn from. Gratitude, love, and appreciation for generous giving and receiving. Concern for the challenges we face on a global level and for the well-being of us all.

Stillness. Quiet. Rest. Peace.

In a Daily Meditation on “Wide-Eyed Seeing,” Richard Rohr wrote:

Contemplation is a kind of seeing that is much more than mere looking…it also includes recognizing and thusappreciating. The contemplative mind does not tell us what to see but teaches us how to see what we behold…Contemplation allows us to see the truth of things in their wholeness.

Contemplation is not a word used so much today. To contemplate means to look at or be present with something with continued attention, to consider something thoroughly. In the frantic pace of today’s world, the act of contemplation requires intention, commitment, and focus to slow down, to quiet the mind and body, and to be fully present with that which you are contemplating.

For many of us, there is a place inside that yearns for that kind of presence. Life moves fast. We cover a lot of ground, both in our outer activities and in our inner experience of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Our human energy system needs time and space to process it all—dedicated time and space to come to stillness. Slowing down to get quiet. Rest for the mind, body, and soul. Peace for our hearts.

Being Fully Present 

Contemplation is about being fully present with whatever it is that you choose to be with. A first step is to slow down and to come as close to stillness as you are able to get. (It’s a practice—be gentle with yourself, yet firm.) To find a quiet physical space and make it your own, even if can only be for a short time. And then to allow that which longs for your attention to find you. Don’t worry about how to do that. If you create space and time, what wants your attention will show up.

And then, allow yourself to rest in the act of contemplation. That may seem like an odd concept, yet it is the key to what contemplation is all about. It’s not about “thinking about” that which is asking for your attention. Instead, it’s about resting in the process of being present with it. Resting in presence. Resting in your breath. Resting in stillness and quiet. And trusting that if you will rest there, peace will also begin to find you. Your intellect may have a hard time grasping this concept, yet your heart will completely understand.

Peace may not come instantly. It may need time and space. Yet if you are willing to stay with it—to keep resting in the act of contemplation itself—your relationship to that which is asking for your attention will begin to soften.

As the energy softens, you can begin to see beyond what you might habitually look for. You may begin to recognize patterns and connections. You may discover something that is asking to be appreciated, respected, or at least acknowledged without judgment. That which you are contemplating will reveal its deeper layers.

Resting in the Stillness and Quiet 

The key is to rest in the stillness and quiet, and in the act of contemplation itself. If you busy your mind with talking to that which is getting your attention and trying to figure something out, you will not find stillness and quiet. That is not contemplating. That is problem-solving or trying to make something happen. Trust in the process of contemplation.

Resting in the act of contemplation, you will discover new ways of seeing and find deeper layers of understanding and perception. The longer you stay present with it, the more you can discover about the bigger truths in what is happening. The act of contemplation brings you to a greater sense of wholeness, both within yourself and within your perception and understanding of that which you are contemplating.

Stillness. Quiet. Rest. Peace.

Life is full. Some things ask for attention from within. Set aside time and space. Allow that which wants your attention to find you. Find rest in contemplation. It will serve you well.

~ ~ ~

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